Italian City Hall Uses Emoticons to Gauge Customer Satisfaction

By Nicole Martinelli, Contributor

In Italy, the fashion capital of Milan is looking to improve customer satisfaction with emoticons. At the city hall, touch screens offer Italians a green smiley face if satisfied or a red frowney face if displeased.

Locals are all smiles now that they can zap public employees with angry little faces for slow or surly service with the touch of a finger.

At Milan’s city hall, an emoticon satisfaction system provides touch screens where citizens give instant feedback by pressing a green smiley face when pleased, a yellow face for sufficient service, or a red frowney face.

Those who see red get an additional screen with four choices from which to select: Was it the wait time, the service itself, the need for a return visit, or something else?

Last month, those expressive little faces spread to 1,000 touch screens in 130 public administrations. Plans are to extend the emoticon system to 5,700 small towns, giving some 30 percent of Italians the chance to express themselves electronically.

Full story in the Christian Science Monitor